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How To Care For a Money Tree (Pachira Plant)

Updated November 21, 2016

The money tree plant, also called pachira, Malabar chestnut or saba nut, is a tropical wetland tree native to Central and South America. Pachira grows readily in swamps and wetlands, and its shiny green foliage and edible peanut-like nuts make it a popular houseplant. Pachira is often sold as an indoor plant with braided trunks, and is marketed as being a "lucky" plant. Pachira does well indoors, as well as outdoors in ornamental gardens in warm, moist climates with well-drained soil and full to partial sun.

Fill your planting container with a mixture of 3 parts potting soil to 1 part sand. Dig a hole the size of the root ball and place the plant in the hole. Backfill with more soil, pressing firmly to secure the plant.

Place your money tree plant in a location that receives full sun to partial shade. Pachira is prone to sunburn, so an area with filtered sunlight is best to protect the leaves.

Water your money tree plant frequently. Do not allow the soil to dry out. Make sure the container is draining well so the plant's roots are not sitting in water, to avoid root rot.

Fertilise monthly with an organic water-soluble fertiliser mixed and applied according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Pinch back stems to encourage bushier growth, but avoid heavy pruning. Pinch back by using your fingernails or garden clippers to remove the uppermost two leaves on each stem. New stems will grow from underneath the stem nodules where the leaves were removed.

Tip

Braid together 3 or more pachira stems to create an attractive, decorative trunk. Dry, roast and shell the nuts just as you would peanuts. They can be eaten as a snack or ground into flour.

Warning

Infrequent watering will result in brown, dried leaves. Soft, yellow leaves are a sign of overwatering.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting container with drainage holes and dripping pan
  • Commercial potting soil
  • Sand
  • Water-soluble organic fertiliser
  • Hand trowel
  • Garden clippers
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